Michael Urie

Officials with Resource Center and organizers of the 2023 Toast To Life event announced today that actor and North Texas native Michael Urie will be the special guest emcee for Toast to Life 80s Icons, which is taking place Saturday, April 1, from 7-11 p.m. at The Empire Room, 1225 N. Riverfront Blvd.
Organizers said they are bringing in Urie to elevate the annual event since this year’s Toast to Life kicks off a year-long celebration of Resource Center’s 40th anniversary.

Urie just finished playing Jerome Robbins in Netflix’s Maestro, which was written and directed by Bradley Cooper, who starred alongside Sara Silverman and Cary Mulligan. Urie is also a regular in the Apple TV+ series Shrinking, opposite Harrison Ford and Jason Segel, and he starred in the 2021 holiday rom-com Single All The Way on Netflix.

Urie, perhaps best known for portraying Marc St. James on Ugly Betty, has also appeared on TV in Modern Family, The Good Wife, Younger and Workaholics among others. He starred on Broadway in the Tony-nominated revival of Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song, and he originated the role of Alex More in Jonathan Tolins’ Buyer & Cellar, for which he won a Drama Desk Award, a Clarence Derwent Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, LA Drama Critics Award, and nominations for the Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Awards. When the COVID pandemic first hit, Urie live-streamed from his living room, raising more than $200,000 for Broadway Cares.

His other stage performances include a recent stint on Broadway in Douglas Lyons’ Chicken and Biscuits and in 2012 as Bud Frump, alongside Nick Jonas, in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

Urie, who grew up in Plano and trained at Julliard School in New York, is also the co-founder and festival producer of the annual Pride Plays in New York and has hosted four seasons of Logo’s Cocktails and Classics.

In honor of Resource Center’s founding year — 1983 — Toast to Life 80s Icons is focusing on a 1980s theme, drawing inspiration from 80s icons and culture. Guests are being encouraged to wear ’80s-inspired apparel or come dressed as an ’80s icon, and DJ Blake Ward will be spinning ’80s tunes.

This year’s LGBTQ Community Excellence Award recipient is Dr. Ximena Lopez. The award recognizes an individual who has exhibited outstanding support for the LGBTQ community in Dallas and Resource Center as a whole. Dr. Lopez is a pediatric endocrinologist and an associate professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She works with pediatric patients with gender dysphoria.

Toast To Life 80s Icons will also include an auction featuring items ranging from custom art to exotic vacation packages, home decor and fine dining gift certificates.

Toast to Life 80s Icons is co-chaired by Deborah McMurray and Michael Buss. Presenting sponsor is The Louis L. Borick Foundation, with The Purple Foundation also presenting the event. Beverages will be provided by Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Stoli and Zerbina Imports. Bites will be from local restaurants including Gil’s Elegant Catering, Luckys Café, Salum, Starbucks Coffee Company, Stock and Barrel, Sugar Town Bakery, Taco Y Vino, The Food Trap and Truluck’s Dallas.

Resource Center “pursues societal equity by proudly offering LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual, plus) affirming resources designed to improve health and wellness, strengthen families and communities, and provide transformative education and advocacy,” officials noted.

And Cece Cox, the center’s CEO, noted that “Toast To Life has raised more than $4.5 million since its inception in 1998 and has become one of the most eagerly-anticipated fundraising events of the year.

“We are excited to celebrate 40 years of service and excited to bring together the North Texas’ LGBTQIA+ community, our allies and supporters for an evening of fun and fundraising all in support of Resource Center,” Cox added.

To sponsor the event or purchase a ticket, to purchase raffle tickets or to donate an auction item, visit the Toast To Life 80s Icons website here.

— Tammye Nash